Online Conference: CARMEN Virtual Annual Meeting, 1-2 September 2020

The annual CARMEN open meeting – Program – brings together scholars and professionals from across the world

Every CARMEN meeting since our beginnings in 2007 has spotlighted the host city and its medieval heritage, and part of the meeting has focused on the local / national community of researchers. So this year we invite you to join us virtually in Dublin, with, among several choices, a virtual city walk and an opportunity to meet Irish medievalists and their projects and work.


(all times are IST – Irish Summer Time)

Virtual walking tour of medieval Dublin

coordinated by Caoimhe Whelan. The tour will consist of a series of pre-recorded videos, provided by colleagues in the heritage and research group the Friends of Medieval Dublin. The tour will be running continuously through both days via Twitter, #CARMEN_2020, starting with Tuesday, Sept. 1, 9:00 IST

FORUM/ Medieval research in Ireland

The two well-known formats of the CARMEN meetings will, in the virtual version, be present on Twitter both day and ongoing, #CARMEN_2020.

Tuesday, Sept. 1

13 – 14

Welcome TCD (Gail McElroy, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Trinity College Dublin)

Welcome CARMEN (Catherine Clarke, academic director of CARMEN)

Round Table “Environment”

Convenor: James L. Smith, UCC

As the practices of the Environmental Humanities and medieval studies intertwine–and Leeds IMC takes on the 2021 theme of Climate–collaboration in Irish environmental humanities projects across a trans- inter- and multi-disciplinary spectrum continues to grow. Many of our Irish attendees will be dealing with this material in their own work, and the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities has embedded robust collaboration across time period, discipline and subject matter. In this roundtable, we discuss the current environment in Irish and European research, emerging societal challenges and sustainable development goals, and the role of pre-modern source materials in this debate.

14.15 – 15

Workshop: Digital Medieval Studies in Ireland

The proliferation of interdisciplinary studies availing of digital methodologies has offered medieval studies new opportunities and approaches for research. In particular, Irish institutions boast a number of ongoing digital medieval studies projects that exemplify this marriage of disciplines. As such, this workshop focuses on three exciting digital humanities projects currently being undertaken by medievalists across Ireland. Presenters include Pádraig Ó Macháin (UCC) who will discuss the DIAS-led online repository of MSS, Irish Script on Screen (ISOS) []; Greg Toner (QUB) who will address his recent IRC-funded project (co-led with David Stifter (MU)) exploring the impact of digitisation on how manuscripts are accessed and research on medieval Ireland and Scotland is conducted; and Lynn Kilgallon (TCD) who will talk about Beyond 2022’s Medieval Exchequer Gold Seam project, which aims to reconstruct entire series of medieval Irish financial and administrative records.

15.15 – 16

Workshop: Edited Volume on Medieval Minds and Matter (Merel E. Veldhuizen, Southampton) Zoom

In this workshop we will discuss the development of an edited volume on the theme ‘Minds and Matter’, containing papers originally presented at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds 2019. I act both as contributor and co-editor (with James Smith) for this volume, the proposal for which is currently under revision at request of the journal Medieval Worlds (Proposed format: 2-3 x thematic clusters of 4-6 essays, 3 x editorials, 3 x response essays). The papers already gathered investigate intersections between medie¬val minds and materialities, bringing together new theoretical approaches to mental landscapes, medieval and medievalist. Medieval Worlds now offers the flexible publication format to create an ongoing conver¬sation through clusters with editorials and response essays as well as a forum to explore and enlarge the definition of the medieval mind, medieval materiality and the notion of the ‘medieval’ itself in a global context, as well as the paradoxical, ambiguous, and slippery relationships between the material and im¬material.

In this workshop we would like to open the discussion on these themes with some of our authors –namely Catherine Clarke (IHR) and James Smith (UCC)- and anybody who shares our interest in these topics or who would be interested in answering our call for papers. The workshop will begin by briefly highlighting some of the themes by having a few collaborators share a bit about their contribution, then extend the discussion by raising some prominent questions with participants, opening up themes and ideas they feel need to be included in a comprehensive and modern take on Minds and Matter in the Middle Ages.

Wednesday, Sept. 2

13.15 – 14

Workshop: Bishops and religious leadership(s) (Andrea Vanina Neyra/ Mariel Pérez/ Victoria Casamiquela Gerhold, Buenos Aires) Google Meet

This project aims to comprehensively research the role of bishops as religious leaders in Medieval Christia-nity, in relation both to local societies and secular authorities. This is a part of an ongoing line of research on different aspects of the episcopal figure that has already led to the organization of two workshops (Buenos Aires, 2018 and 2019) and the recent publication of a collective book on bishops and monaste¬ries (2020). Our proposal seeks to discuss the possible developments of this subject and to organize, upon this basis, a new research project integrating new potential members interested in this line of work. — Suggested topics of discussion are: the role of the bishop as a spiritual leader within his diocese, both in relation with local priests and their parishioners/ links between religious leadership and political power/ the role of tradition and innovation in spiritual leadership/ the place given by bishops to spiritual tasks among the different responsibilities connected to the episcopal role/ representations of spiritual leader¬ship/ Relationship between religious leadership and other kinds of leadership/ Strategies and tensions of religious leadership. — If you are interested in participating in the workshop or integrating our project, please contact our group at to express interest, with a short outline of your research area and how it connects to the project theme.

14.15 – 15

Workshop: New Perspectives; New Approaches in Medieval Studies in Ireland

This final session showcasing medieval studies projects currently being undertaken in Irish institutions, ex-plores some new perspectives on the medieval period as well as some new approaches to its study. Pre-senters include Catherine Emerson (NUIG) who will discuss her ongoing research on networks of manus-cripts and manuscript owners in fifteenth-century Paris; Carrie Griffin (UL) topic: TBC; and staff from UCD’s School of Archaeology who will talk about their innovative and unique Centre for Experimen-tal Archaeology and Material Culture.

15.15 – 16

Workshop: Online events and conferences: what works? (Catherine Clarke, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London) Zoom

In this workshop, we’ll reflect on the move to online events and conferences necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic – and likely here to stay, either in the form of fully ‘virtual’ events or blended formats. With the summer’s online conference season – and the CARMEN virtual meeting – to look back on, we’ll share experiences, insights and tips. We’ll discuss academic conferences and meetings, as well as public-facing events. How do we build participation into our online content? How do we facilitate discussion and interaction? What are the barriers to engagement, and how have colleagues dealt with ‘screen fatigue’? What might a ‘blended’ future look like for conferences and events? This will be a participatory session – not an instructional lecture – so please come with experiences and ideas to share.

You will find all events of the folloqing program in the online event site of this Eventbrite announcementThe CARMEN annual meeting always has a thematic strand: this year’s is Environment. A Plenary Round Table will take place during the meeting and will be accompanied on Twitter. We now invite proposals for the workshops which will take place on both days between 2 and 4 pm GMT +1 in webinar format. The organiser of the workshop will be responsible for online hosting, and will provide a link together with a short description; registration will be necessary. The one-hour workshops will have a break to start or boost twitter exchanges.

Workshops are interactive sessions which facilitate development of new projects and partnerships. Workshop sessions should take about 60 minutes and can present a project, or project idea, at any stage of development. Workshops are most successful when the convenor has a clear aim for the session and a plan for fostering discussion, and when the theme has cross-disciplinary reach. They are a valuable way to make links and find new collaborators, and can be on any topic (not limited to the thematic strand).

Proposals for workshops in 2020 including a theme and an abstract of about half a page as well as information on the video conference tool of choice should be sent to by July 31st the latest. Workshops will be scheduled in the CARMEN meeting programme and publicised as part of the event. The links to the fixed-time (synchronous) meetings (plenary, workshops) and if applicable the registration tool will be provided on Eventbrite.

We will also host the annual Forum, in virtual format — an opportunity for any medievalist to facilitate outreach, connection and communication between individuals, organisations and projects by presenting their new or planned books, projects, centers. The Forum will take place on Twitter throughout the meeting and will run asynchronously. We will list all projects that are sent to by July 31 st the latest; ideally you will already have a twitter presentation.

Please spread the word and join us via Eventbrite and Twitter. CARMEN relies on your worldwide participation! You can follow our hashtag at #CARMEN_20.

Get a ticket now for further information and communication as the timetable takes shape.

Register here.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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